One of the UK’s few remaining ‘soloists’ (a chef that works virtually unaided in the kitchen) Marc Wilkinson has been cooking bold, imaginative dishes at this tiny restaurant since 2004. Though classically trained – his CV includes Surrey’s Pennyhill Park and East Sussex’s Mirabelle Restaurant – he isn’t afraid to venture into more avante garde territory with unusual flavour combinations, textures and temperatures alongside striking presentation.
Dish descriptions give little away, listing ingredients only with no clue as to how they might be treated on the plate. Wilkinson’s current, six-course tasting menu includes butternut squash, tangerine and yoghurt; scallop with smoked lime butter and wild rice; and Gressingham duck, cocoa crisp and kohlrabi.
Restaurant Fraiche is located in Oxton, a pretty village close to Birkenhead. An unassuming frontage gives way to a clean, modern space that features lighting and visual displays that move with the seasons and work from local artists. In 2018 Wilkinson looked to move Restaurant Fraiche to a larger site but has now decided to stay put and continue to gradually evolve his cuisine.
“Fraiche is a very personal journey for me, building a modern cuisine on a classical trained foundation to keep my sensibilities in check,” he says. “My expanding cooking techniques and cutting edge preparations help me to express myself, thus enabling me to offer our guests a complete “experience”, taking them on a both a culinary and visual journey.”